So you’re in a band, and you put out a first album that was a surprise hit, and then followed it up with a second album that doesn’t have any songs like the ones that made your first album a surprise hit, and you’re weeks away from releasing it how are you feeling?! Let’s check with the guys in MGMT: Their thornier sophomore album, Congratulations, is out April 13, and they recently talked it over with BlackBook. As Andrew VanWyngarden puts it, “The people responsible for making money hoped that we’d record another ‘Time to Pretend,’ but everyone close to us knew we weren’t going to do that.” So, how’s all that contrarianism sitting? Maybe not so well.
Says Congratulations producer Peter Kember, a.k.a. Sonic Boom:
Nobody really knows how the album is going to be received. But one thing I do know is that if they can’t do things their way, they will give it all up tomorrow and walk away … But they care deeply. I can promise you that. They will tell you until they’re blue in the face that they don’t care about how the album is received, but I know for a fact they do.
And what say the dudes?
If we tried to re-create our last album and someone didn’t like it, I think it would have been really difficult to look them in the eye and tell them we really believed in the album,” [Ben] Goldwasser says. “But now, if someone tells us that it sucks, we don’t give a shit.” Striking another note, VanWyngarden adds, “But if this doesn’t work, if this isn’t what people want to hear, then I’m not sure what we’ll do next.
Careers on the line! Angry money people! Songs about Brian Eno! MGMT may be less catchy now, but they’re certainly more interesting.
MGMT: The Boys Are Back in Town [BlackBook]